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DT 30409

Daily Telegraph Cryptic No 30,409
Hints and tips by Huntsman

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BD Rating – Difficulty **  –  Enjoyment ***/****

Well I guess autumn has arrived with a damp couple of days in store. I’m checking out a variety of weather apps to see if we can get away with a round of golf at 2pm without getting soaked. Then it’s an evening trip to the Abbey Theatre in St Albans to see The Company of Ten perform The Weekend, a play by Michael Palin.

We’ve a full 32 clues for today’s very enjoyable guzzle puzzle, which I’m assuming is by Anthony Plumb. All the usual plethora of single letter insertions & deletions to contend with. It’s not difficult but I thought there was a good bit of humour, some excellent surface reads & clever indicators. Only two bits of GK required which made for an entertaining, albeit brisk, solve.

In the following hints, definitions are underlined, indicators are mostly in parentheses, and answers are revealed by clicking where shown as usual. Please leave a comment below on how you got on with the puzzle.


1a Get beneath structure for spectators (10)
UNDERSTAND: a synonym for beneath followed by an elevated structure for viewers.

6a Settee until now scratching rear (4)
SOFA: delete the last letter (scratching rear) from a two word way of saying until now.

10a Religious journey delays just the odd characters (5)
GODLY: another word for journey as a verb plus the alternate letters (just the odd characters) of DeLaY.

11a Pauses in travels abroad (9)
INTERVALS: an anagram (abroad) of IN TRAVELS.

12a Advantage about introducing Connery initially to R Moore? (8)
SCULPTOR: insert the first letter of Connery into a reversal (about) of a synonym for advantage and append TO + R from the wordplay. The Moore that you’re looking for wasn’t a star of screen or stage.

13a What the Eiffel Tower is made of Nick heard (5)
STEEL: a homophone of another word for nick (ignore capitalisation) or purloin.

15a What plain cake might be observed? (7)
NOTICED: a lack of cake decoration gives you a cryptic definition.

17a Line on ground gets most stretched out (7)
LONGEST: the single letter for Line + on from the wordplay then append an anagram (ground) of GETS.

19a Large snake – son runs! (7)
LADDERS: the single letter abbreviation for Large & for Son then place Britain’s only venomous snake in between them.

21a Friend possessing skill is only half biased (7)
PARTIAL: start with an informal word for a friend then insert (possessing) another word for skill + just the first letter (only half) of is in the clue

22a Confess District Attorney returns with German(5)
ADMIT: reverse (returns) the two letter acronym for the law officer then add the German for with.

24a Tries tamest exercises without physical training (8)
ATTEMPTS: an anagram (exercises) of TAMEST & the two letter abbreviation for physical training.

27a Dave tries playing trumpet (9)
ADVERTISE: an anagram (playing) of DAVE TRIES. Definition nowt to do with the instrument 🎺.

28a Mixed drink left for papa’s meal (5)
LUNCH: replace the single letter for papa (NATO phonetic alphabet) with that for Left from the front of a mixed drink that can be dangerously potent – as past hangovers can attest to.

29a In private, encourages adolescent (4)
TEEN: a lurker.

30a Calm soldiers finally left community (10)
SETTLEMENT: link a synonym for calm & a term for soldiers + the last letter (finally) of left in the clue.

1d Egg on burger poking out both ends (4)
URGE: remove (poking out both ends) the exterior letters of burger. Neat surface.

2d Devoted doctor diced with death leaving hospital (9)
DEDICATED: an anagram (doctor) of DICED with DEAT(h) – the single letter for hospital being omitted (leaving).

3d Amateur soldiers upset king? (5)
ROYAL: a synonym for amateur + the two letter term for non officers then reverse (upset) the lot. The question mark indicates definition by example.

4d Old army volunteers implied no leader’s corrupt (7)
TAINTED: the two letter acronym for the volunteers now renamed the Army Reserve + a synonym for implied less the initial letter (no leader).

5d Unrefined ancient city in African province (7)
NATURAL: a bit of geography – place our usual city state in ancient Mesopotamia inside a South African province now merged with KwaZulu & a wonderful place to visit

7d Speak of ignoring female judge (5)
ORATE: start with of in the clue but delete (ignoring) the single letter for Female then append a synonym for judge or assess.

8d Of course sailor yells out at sea (10)
ABSOLUTELY: the usual two letter for a naval rating on a merchant ship followed by an anagram (at sea) of YELLS OUT.

9d One doing a stretch is inside lying flat on top of rug (8)
PRISONER: insert is from the clue into a word meaning lying flat then append the first letter (top of) Rug.

14d Nasty uniform with new length seized by agricultural worker (10)
UNPLEASANT: start with the single letter abbreviation for Uniform (NATO alphabet) & for New then add an agricultural worker into which you insert the single letter for Length.

16d Animal found with no tail on river (8)
CREATURE: remove the final letter (no tail) from a synonym of found or start then add a Yorkshire river.

18d Being upset, exit scene (9)
EXISTENCE: an anagram (upset) of EXIT SCENE.

20d Fish following ship around each beach (7)
SEASIDE: place the two letter abbreviation for EAch inside that for a ship then append crosswordland’s favourite 3 letter fish.

21d One’s bandaged by obvious person in hospital? (7)
PATIENT: the letter represented by the Roman numeral for one inserted (bandaged) into a synonym for obvious.

23d Summits of Mountains Overwhelm Viewers In Exciting film (5)
MOVIE: the initial letters (summits of) the five words preceding the definition.

25d Person who wrote about a bear student found in pit (5)
MILNE: the usual letter for a student inserted into (found in) a pit containing minerals or energy resources.

26a Rabbit’s tea time (4)
CHAT: a word for the beverage plus the single letter for Time giving you a definition in the sense of chinwag as sung by Chas & Dave


12a was my clear favourite today with ticks for 19&24a along with 1,2&8d. Loved the Quickie pun too. Which ones hit the spot for you?

Today’s Quick Crossword pun: PAX+ SAP + HUNCH= PACKS A PUNCH

57 comments on “DT 30409

  1. Much more enjoyable fare today, clues virtually flew straight into the grid as fast as the ink would flow. Until 12a. This was the last one for me, so I already had four letters in it, and as ever, I got fixated, trying to force ‘actor’ into it somehow.
    This delayed things for a while until I stuck in the only word that I knew which fitted and then stared at it until the working of the clue dawned on me, devilishly cryptic, would never have got it without working it backwards.
    Great clueing throughout, my favourites (apart from 12a) were 15a and 26d. Many thanks to our setter today.

    1. You put that so well. Exactly what I felt about 12a, brilliantly obscured. What a brain (not you, the setter!!)
      Though of course I am sure your brain is just as acute🥰

    2. I never thought of the actor, my first thought was Henry! Why, I don’t know, I don’t really like his work much and loved the actor.

  2. 1*/4*. A light delight for a Tuesday. 12a was the only clue to hold me up and so earning a podium place alongside 9d and (of course!) 26d. A special mention too today for the Quickie pun.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.

  3. The Quickie grid suggests that this was a very enjoyable Anthony Plumb production and it certainly ‘felt’ like it – **/****

    Plenty of candidates for favourite – 1a, 19a, 5d, 8d, and 26d – and the winner is 5d.

    Thanks to Mr Plumb, or whomsoever if it is not he, and thanks to Huntsman.

  4. Yet another fine puzzle .especially the NW corner and my favourite and last in 12a, best bit of deception for a while.
    Liked the surfaces of 28a and 20d-with our favourite fish again.
    Going for a **/****

  5. A really enjoyable Tuesday puzzle – thanks to our setter and Huntsman (the word ‘inside’ has been omitted from the 9d clue which answers your query about the indicator).
    I have lots of ticks including 12a, 21a and 26d.

    1. Thanks Dave – that’s 2 & counting. If only I’d had Gazza to correct my errors in the days when I had to sit exams

  6. This was right up my street. Not difficult but a thoroughly enjoyable solve. 12a was my favourite, and, living in Henry Moore territory, I was not held up by thoughts of Roger. I also liked the letter change clue at 28a, the tailless animal at 16d and the undecorated cake at 15a. Thanks to our setter – presumably Mr Plumb, a master of the smooth surface read, and Huntsman for the review.

    1. You cannot be too far away from me. I did the accounts for a company in our village which. installed all Henry Moore’s large sculptures in his park.

      1. I get the impression that you are somewhat further south than me, Daisygirl, near Henry’s family home. I’m in Yorkshire where Henry was born and spent his first student days at Leeds College of Art. I’m within a stone’s throw of Yorkshire Sculpture Park where both Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth’s sculptures are celebrated

        1. Have you been to The Hepworth in Wakey? Very nice for an indoor experience if it is teeming down at the YSP

          1. Yes, several times. It’s just round the corner, well worth a visit and holds some good activity days for children that the grandkids enjoy.

  7. One of the most enjoyable back-page solves for me in quite a while with laughs galore, a couple of well-clued chestnuts in 15&19a and a prod for the old grey matter in 12a. To complete the picture, a laugh out loud Quickie pun.
    Many contenders for rosettes but, if pushed, I’ll go for 1&12a plus 26d.

    Applause for our setter – Mr Plumb? and thanks to Huntsman for the review. You’d have no chance of a round of golf on Anglesey today!

  8. Brilliantly crafted puzzle.
    Many were parsing second
    To insertion.
    Like sardines on the podium.
    But 12a by half a
    Nose COTD.
    Thanks setter and Huntsman.

  9. A jolly guzzle. Allow me to quote Mhids up there: ‘Not difficult but a thoroughly enjoyable solve’.
    Tuesday is the new Monday.

    I spent a fair part of the last few weeks railing against the excessive heat, and then overnight, the temperature descends to ‘put the heating on’ time. This is also not acceptable.
    I need some smart boffin, instead of developing new ways to kill us all, to invent some form of weather control that maintains a pleasing 19 to 22 centigrade all year round, with rainfall only between 1am and 5am. Get working on it, please.

    Thanks to the setter, and Andy On The First Tee.

      1. I’m not sure about that Daisy. Most women bosses I have met, with the exception of one, were not very nice people. Unreasonable, impatient and difficult to please – in my experience. The one exception was a delight, firm, clear and incredibly bright,

  10. Very enjoyable and well constructed. Just the right level for me to finish over coffee.
    My fav was 1a but I had forgotten the crosswordland fish in 20d, I always associate the Ling with crosswords!
    Thx to all

  11. Thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle. Favourites and last ones in were 4d, 12a and the last half of 1a! Clever people these crossword setters. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  12. Absolutely brilliant, sparkling guzzle. I loved it. Daisies adorning so many I don’t know if I can pick a favourite. Maybe 15a as I am just off to my Book Group to discuss The Girl With The Louding Voice by Abi Dare – and we always have cake. 11,12,24,28a 1,2 – oh, I give up. It was all enjoyable. Many thanks to the clever Setter and to Huntsman, if he gets his round of golf in the next county I might get my washing dry.

  13. Enjoyable puzzle.
    I hate to be a pedant, but the Eiffel Tower is made from iron, not as described in 13a.

  14. Typical Tuesday offering for me; a step trickier in understanding parsing and clueing than Monday’s puzzle. Some head scratching and careful thought required … and a little GK, too.
    And Shabbo is correct … Eiffel Tower is made of iron.


    Favourites include 1a, 15a, 1d, 2d, 14d & 25d — with winner 25d
    Took a little bit of thinking to figure out 12a as well as 28a until the pennies finally dropped. However, 25d was a gimme.

    Thanks to setter and Huntsman

  15. This was such good fun, light and very refreshing with amusing surface reads.
    In a strong field 10&12a plus 8d are my ticks for today.
    Thanks to Mr Plumb and Huntsman.

  16. I don’t like to rain on a parade but it felt like I was doing aa different puzzle to everyone else . It was most difficult to get a start, particularly in the NW. I guessed a lot of the clues , using the checkers and then tried
    to reverse engineer the parsing. So it wasn’t my cup of tea at all but thanks to the compiler, who had obviously put much time and effort into it and to Huntsman for the much-needed hints. There weren’t any favourite clues today, I’m afraid.

    1. I think the clue is asking for a four letter synonym of advantage, written backwards (about), with the initial of Connery in it (introducing Connery initially). Then bolt on ‘to’ from the clue plus the ‘r’ from the clue.

      1. Mark, you’ve got it correct. As Huntsman is hopefully well into his golf game, I’ve taken the liberty of tweaking the hint for him.

        1. Thanks Falcon – I knew full well how the wordplay worked but a case of half asleep explaining it – all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order as Eric said to Mr Preview.
          Any volunteers for the Tuesday slot ?

          1. Huntsman, you are doing a fine job. I doubt there is a blogger amongst us that doesn’t make a slip from time to time — I’ve certainly made my share. I always appreciate when they are brought to my attention so they can be corrected and not further confuse readers of the blog.

    2. Reverse PLUS (advantage) containing C (initial letter of Connery) then add TO and R to get what Henry Moore was an example of.

  17. 2/4. Very pleasant solve with some clever clues. Like others I had to pause for 12a to reveal itself. 19a was an old chestnut and I really liked 5&25d. Thanks to all.

  18. Mastery.

    We love Tony P.

    6a gets the gig as it conjures a great illustrator ‘Matt’ image.

    Many thanks to the aforementioned and Hootsman.


  19. A friendly offering today, except for a few in the NW. I had to go to the hints to get 1a, probably the easiest clue of the lot, just to get going again. Having all the checking letters, I bunged in 12a as only thought of that Moore, but couldn’t parse it. The rest was a pleasant solve, with 25d my fave, I also liked 9d.
    Thank you setter, and huge thanks to Huntsman for unravelling a few.

  20. Oh if only every day could be like this. A really enjoyable solve throughout, with enough tricky ones to make you think and to satisfy, hopefully, the smarter folk. COTD for me was 27a just because it made me smile when I realised it was not a musical instrument I needed. Thanks to the setter and to Huntsman, and good luck with the weather. We’re still in our rain every afternoon time of year here.

  21. A very Tuesday ish crossword and good fun.
    12a held me up for a ridiculous amount of time, as did 4d.
    I’d forgotten the blasted fish.
    Not too many other problems today.
    I liked 1 and 21a and 14 and 21d. My favourite was 8d specially once I’d pinned down the definition.
    Thanks to whoever set today’s crossword and to Huntsman for the hints.

  22. Super puzzle until 12 a. Now I like Henry much more than Roger and I have been to Hoglands many times and organised an Art Society trip there. Why then was I not on the case ? Liked 15a, especially as I refuse to put that vile stuff on my cakes. A puzzle to cheer a rainy afternoon in E Grinstead. Always grateful to the setter and for the relief provided by the hints and tips.

  23. My earlier comment appears to have gone AWOL and I can’t remember what I said apart from fact this was an enjoyable solve with smoothest ride in South. 12a remained unparsed until the end but it had to be. No particular Fav as skilful clues abounded. Thank you AP and Huntsman – hope your round materialised.

  24. Lovely fun. 12a was the only one I could not parse and needed the hints to explain. 15a my favourite but so many could have been.

    Many thanks to the setter and to Huntsman for the hints

  25. Enjoyable crossword, straightforward apart from three that doubled my solving time 🤔 ***/****Lots of favourites 15 & 19 across and 14 & 26 Down 😃 Thanks to the Huntsman hope you got your game of golf here in the east far too much🌧 & 🌬️ and to the Compiler

  26. Fun one today I thought. Also liked 12a – clever. Lots of rather ‘neat’ clues. 28a I worked out backwards – i.e. got the answer quicker than why.

  27. Great puzzle – generally flew in but like others was held up by 12a, definitely clue of the day for me

  28. As others LOI was 12a immediately preceded by 4d. I too thought the Eiffel tower was made of iron but couldn’t be bothered to check so bunged in the obvious answer. All in all an enjoyable puzzle. Hard to pick a favourite but I’ll go with 4d. Thanks to the setter and Huntsman.

  29. Pretty much the same here, 12a was LOI and initially bunged in as the only word that I could see, much staring later the whys and wherefores dawned on me, I must make a return to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park as it is a lovely place to visit
    Thanks to Huntsman and setter

  30. All good for me until 12a which I just couldn’t see.1 and 15a and 18d were my favourites. I had no trouble with 4d. I have only just managed to parse 28a although the answer was obvious. Thanks Setter and to Huntsman for explaining 12a.

  31. Agree with everyone else that this was a very enjoyable puzzle. I too was held up for a while by 12a but when the penny dropped I reckoned it was a cracker.

    Thanks to the setter and to Huntsman.
    Miserable day up here on and off, mainly on drizzle all day….and we have put the heating on.
    Sadly tomorrow looks to be if anything worse. How’s a person supposed to get their washing dry ?

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